When the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir was built in the early 2000s, the environmental impact consisted of approximately 190 acres of wetlands. To offset this impact, Tampa Bay Water undertook an extensive mitigation project that covered nearly a thousand acres of the 5,500-acre Chito Branch Reserve on which the reservoir is located. Mitigation was performed on three separate areas of the reserve, including:
In order to buffer these wetland mitigation areas and improve habitat, 600 acres of the adjacent agricultural land was planted with pine and native ground cover.
Conserving existing resources was important as part of this mitigation project. For example, muck from impacted wetlands was excavated, stored and added to wetland creation areas, and 100 mature cypress and 200 cabbage palms were transplanted from within the reservoir footprint to mitigation areas.
Construction on this mitigation project was completed in 2005, and management continues, with treatment of nuisance species and prescribed burns. To learn more about the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir or its mitigation project, visit our C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir section.